KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Lives


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For the third time in 9 years, the Reasonably priced Care Act has survived a constitutional problem on the Supreme Court docket. In a 7-2 resolution, the court docket dominated that the states and people who filed the newest problem lacked standing to sue.

In the meantime, Democratic lawmakers are in search of methods to broaden well being advantages as they pull collectively spending plans on Capitol Hill. And criticism is rising of the Meals and Drug Administration, which authorised a controversial drug to deal with Alzheimer’s illness over the advice of its personal skilled outdoors advisers.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Name and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The ACA resolution Thursday was a sign that the Supreme Court docket is shifting past Republican arguments that the landmark well being regulation is unconstitutional or ought to be overturned. No less than one different problem continues to be working its manner by the court docket system, and the Supreme Court docket should still be known as on to settle questions on particular provisions or elements of implementation. However it seems that authorized challenges are now not an existential menace to the general regulation.
  • The primary main ACA case that made its solution to the Supreme Court docket was one introduced by enterprise teams. However over time, business has come to simply accept the ACA and most companies don’t wish to see extra challenges that threaten all the regulation.
  • The court docket’s resolution leaves Republicans in a tricky place. Their opposition to the regulation has turn into a regular a part of the celebration’s identification, but Republican lawmakers by no means put ahead a powerful imaginative and prescient for a alternative or a path to assembly the nation’s well being care wants if the ACA had been overturned. As a result of well being care coverage points will not be entrance and middle on Capitol Hill in the mean time, Republicans have time to formulate a brand new technique. However they might want a message when Democrats transfer quickly to make everlasting the improved insurance coverage subsidies for plans on the ACA market.
  • The congressional clock is ticking as Democrats strategize on quite a lot of insurance policies, together with infrastructure and people well being premium subsidies. If bipartisan offers will not be made quickly, Democratic leaders will doubtless push to make use of an advanced course of known as finances reconciliation that enables some sorts of payments to be handed by a easy majority within the Senate and never be subjected to a filibuster. Well being provisions may very well be a part of such a invoice, comparable to decreasing the eligibility age for Medicare, establishing larger insurance coverage subsidies and permitting Medicare to barter drug costs.
  • One of the vital fashionable choices Democrats wish to add to a reconciliation invoice could be increasing Medicare advantages to cowl dental, imaginative and prescient and listening to care.
  • Because the nation continues to transition to a brand new regular because the covid pandemic eases, some employers are mandating that staff be vaccinated — however, in some situations, staff are refusing. The difficulty has already led to a authorized battle over a Houston hospital’s mandate and is prone to unfold. Staff argue that the vaccine has not but been formally authorised by federal regulators, having obtained solely emergency authorization. That would change quickly, although, as a result of no less than two vaccine makers are asking for a former approval from the FDA.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare and Medicaid within the Obama administration and most just lately helped head up the covid response effort for President Joe Biden.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you need to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: Politico Journal’s “How the Anti-Abortion Movement Used the Progressive Playbook to Chip Away at Roe v. Wade,” by Mary Ziegler and Robert L. Tsai

Joanne Kenen: The Atlantic’s “The Texans Challenging Obamacare Have No Standing,” by Nicholas Bagley

Rachel Cohrs: KHN’s “In Alleged Health Care ‘Money Grab,’ Nation’s Largest Hospital Chain Cashes In on Trauma Centers,” by Jay Hancock

Mary Ellen McIntire: The New York Instances’ “Many Post-Covid Patients Are Experiencing New Medical Problems, Study Finds,” by Pam Belluck

Additionally: Roll Name’s “CDC Issues Guidance for Treating ‘Long COVID’ Patients,” by Mary Ellen McIntire

To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to KHN’s “What the Well being?” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you hearken to podcasts.

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